Linked by Debjit on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:16 UTC
Games A rumor has been going around for about four months now that Valve is coming out with a Linux version of Steam and had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. However Valve have officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear - there is no Linux version of Steam in development.
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AndADamn you Phoronix!
by Kivada on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:36 UTC
Kivada
Member since:
2010-07-07

And where is Michael Larabel on this one?

Reply Score: 2

RE: AndADamn you Phoronix!
by jbauer on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:16 UTC in reply to "AndADamn you Phoronix!"
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

And where is Michael Larabel on this one?


Partying with everyone who reported it as "official" without bothering or caring to check that an announcement from Valve was never made.

Honestly, if you still believe anything coming from Phoronix you get what you deserve.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: AndADamn you Phoronix!
by boulabiar on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE: AndADamn you Phoronix!"
boulabiar Member since:
2009-04-18

Phoronix has facts when he has released the news.

it maybe some dirty tricks by some big company.
giving Valve money to not release anything in other platform than MS and Apple is to be deeply verified.

Many of OSNews articles came from Phoronix, so it's better not to ask about its credibility (otherwise osnews credibility is related)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: AndADamn you Phoronix!
by jbauer on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: AndADamn you Phoronix!"
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

Phoronix has facts when he has released the news.

it maybe some dirty tricks by some big company.
giving Valve money to not release anything in other platform than MS and Apple is to be deeply verified.


LOL. Wait, I'll go get my tinfoil hat.

Reply Score: 5

Bringbackanonposting Member since:
2005-11-16

Haha nice. Yeah no surprises. Shame but that's life.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: AndADamn you Phoronix!
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: AndADamn you Phoronix!"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Official means from the company.

There was nothing official, just evidence of a client which could have been part of a viability experiment or some system used to test the server. It could have also been a rogue port.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: AndADamn you Phoronix!
by google_ninja on Wed 25th Aug 2010 02:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: AndADamn you Phoronix!"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

OSNews posts loads of articles that are just loaded with factual errors, that then get ripped apart by everyone in the comments, if not by the person who posted it in the summery. Things that everyone is talking about are newsworthy, even when they are wrong.

Reply Score: 2

Too bad.
by Tuishimi on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:11 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Bummer... but not completely unexpected.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too bad.
by WorknMan on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:51 UTC in reply to "Too bad."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Bummer... but not completely unexpected.


Yup. For all you Linux evangelists out there... if you want to know why more people aren't using Linux on the desktop, this is a prime example of why. Of course, I personally don't give a rat's ass about Steam, but for a lot of people, it's definitely a 'killer' application. So you can preach all day about free love, improved security, and all your other talking points, but at the end of the day, if someone's killer application ain't on the platform, it's game over. End of discussion.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Too bad.
by Ford Prefect on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad."
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Last time I checked, Steam was already running on Linux. Actually, it runs on Linux for years. It runs on Linux right now. Counter Strike:Source is number 3 on Wine's Top-10 Platinum List ("Applications which install and run flawlessly on an out-of-the-box Wine installation").

These talks are all only about a _native_ client. Would be nice for people who use both Linux+Steam, but not a necessity at all.

But nevertheless thank you for your most valuable and informative comment about the state of affairs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Too bad.
by jbauer on Tue 24th Aug 2010 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too bad."
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

These talks are all only about a _native_ client. Would be nice for people who use both Linux+Steam, but not a necessity at all.


Maybe that's why Valve won't be releasing it anytime soon ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Too bad.
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too bad."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Don't be pedantic, people can't go to steam and go click click click and then install any game they want and that is what counts.

The real problem is that Linux isn't a single platform for game developers to target. It's an amalgamation of distros, desktops and sound stacks. And on top of it all there is a hostile attitude towards proprietary software.

Go buy a console if you don't want to game in Windows or OS X.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Too bad.
by Ford Prefect on Tue 24th Aug 2010 10:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too bad."
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

I see that the market is not relevant to the publisher. Almost all linux users who want to play just bite the bullet and boot Windows (which as we all know is just available on any machine).

What is incorrect, however, is the belief that there would be significant technical reasons hindering Linux as a gaming platform. The infamous distro argument is just one of them that is easily understood and sounds convincing by/to outsiders but in fact is not relevant.

I don't need to go into technical details either to prove my point. Just look at id software. They managed to release all their major games without any trouble (they have only one guy responsible for Linux porting in their team). I never heard any complaints about "Quake does not run on Distro XY" or "Quake is unstable", "Quake runs only with lib version XY" or "Don't install Quake after installing another program/lib" anything like that. It is just no issue. It is just not.

Another example would be Ryan Gordon (Icculus), who ported a lot of games including the UT series just by himself, on a contract basis. I also never heard that UT would run on Distro X but fail on Distro Y.


Thing is, there is no technical reason why a game should not satisfy Linux customers as well as it would Windows customers. The windows platform has all its problems in itself for games. Read about the "install latest drivers" comments all over the net.


Still I understand that for a major publisher there is marginal business sense in supporting the Linux platform. It's just not for technical reasons but for how the OS market currently works.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Too bad.
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too bad."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Just look at id software. They managed to release all their major games without any trouble (they have only one guy responsible for Linux porting in their team).

Funny how you mentioned iD because it was Loki that brought Quake 3 to Linux and they later went bankrupt trying to sell games to Linux users.

I understand that for a major publisher there is marginal business sense in supporting the Linux platform. It's just not for technical reasons but for how the OS market currently works.


So Linux is just as easy to target as OS X?

Just because Linux occasionally gets a port does not mean that the often complained about technical issues do not exist. Testing alone is a major issue with Linux due to all the different disros and versions. Packaging / static linking is also a major issue when compared to OS X.

I think a blog post from a developer who brought his game to Linux gives better insight:
http://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/05/18/porting-osmos-to-linux-a-...

or the infamous Braid post on porting to Linux:
http://braid-game.com/news/?p=364

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Too bad.
by Ford Prefect on Wed 25th Aug 2010 09:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Too bad."
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Loki went bankrupt because their business model failed. Their ports did not have technical problems. However, they had to do a lot of work from which people still profit today: Namely the libSDL.

I talked about iD as they continued to provide their state-of-the-art games for linux after the demise of Loki. With the one developer I mentioned.

Look at the outstanding performance of Doom 3 in Linux, and how it smoothly runs everywhere. See what can be achieved: without much hassle, as iD hat stated before it wouldn't see it worthy to get through much hassle. They only announced the linux version when they already had seen that it can be done with very reasonable efforts.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Too bad.
by Zifre on Tue 24th Aug 2010 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too bad."
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

The real problem is that Linux isn't a single platform for game developers to target. It's an amalgamation of distros, desktops and sound stacks.

When will people stop repeating this myth? Your average game just needs SDL and OpenGL. You can pretty much assume that those are installed, and you can statically link against everything else. It's really not very hard.

And on top of it all there is a hostile attitude towards proprietary software.

Most people are not like that. Linux users in general are less likely to pirate software, and will generally be willing to pay more for it. See http://www.wolfire.com/humble. Linux users payed almost twice as much as Windows users, and more than Mac users too. They even made more profit from Linux users, even though more Mac users bought the bundle.

Go buy a console if you don't want to game in Windows or OS X.

Admittedly, that's probably the best option. It's what I do.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Too bad.
by deathshadow on Tue 24th Aug 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too bad."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

When will people stop repeating this myth? Your average game just needs SDL and OpenGL. You can pretty much assume that those are installed, and you can statically link against everything else. It's really not very hard.

Unless SDL on linux's audio latency is too low for what you want to do. Unless the input latency is too low or doesn't support half the devices you want to... Unless a change to the kernel or a different version of the static libraries is present than the one's your linked against breaking the whole thing forcing a recompile... Which if you don't want to release the source to your code due to how easy that would make it to pirate, as if all the code monkeys reverse engineering binaries to bypass checks isn't bad enough?

See why Loki Software was damned near stillborn. Doesn't help that even the binary drivers are like driving with the parking brake on even when allegedly it's the same drivers working through an abstraction. I didn't buy a GTX 260 SLI rig to have no SLI, no CUDA, no Physx, and to have my single GTX 260 perform like a 9800GT.

Though admittedly, I game in linux all the time -- on my Dingoo running Dingux in emulators.... and on my droid. Amazing how linux becomes a viable gaming platform and practical for daily consumer use once you get that fat bloated pig X11 out of the equation.

"And on top of it all there is a hostile attitude towards proprietary software.

Most people are not like that. Linux users in general are less likely to pirate software, and will generally be willing to pay more for it.
"
Not any of the free{sexual preference slur deleted}'s I know. Mind you that may be a vocal minority, but damn they're vocal. See all the whackjobs who hate Ubuntu just because it gives the OPTION of using restricted files and comes with the multiverse enabled by default. (what, don't remember the total outrage over that decision?)

See http://www.wolfire.com/humble. Linux users payed almost twice as much as Windows users, and more than Mac users too.

Probably because zero windows users and less than zero Mac users gave a flying **** about the outdated half-assed indie games listed? You mention that to windows users 99% of them are going to go "What the **** is that?" -- I know I did.

You aren't going to drive Windows gamers in droves to spend money on games that have been in the $10 a pop bargain bin for over two years the same year ME2, MW2 and SC2 drop.

While your people who buy into the snake oil 'free as in freedom' rhetoric it's one of the few choices they have... ending up a bit like the old Mac joke:

"There are good games on the Mac, you know they're all good games because you played them three or four years ago on PC"

Edited 2010-08-24 18:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Too bad.
by Zifre on Tue 24th Aug 2010 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Too bad."
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Once again deathshadow, you prove how ignorant you are.

Unless SDL on linux's audio latency is too low for what you want to do.

I don't know of any games that have had latency issues with SDL...

Unless a change to the kernel or a different version of the static libraries is present than the one's your linked against breaking the whole thing forcing a recompile...

The kernel interface is stable. If you statically link libraries, you will have no problems.

Doesn't help that even the binary drivers are like driving with the parking brake on even when allegedly it's the same drivers working through an abstraction. I didn't buy a GTX 260 SLI rig to have no SLI, no CUDA, no Physx, and to have my single GTX 260 perform like a 9800GT.

That's a blatant lie. NVIDIA's Linux drivers perform just as well as the Windows drivers in most cases. (Many benchmarks have proven this.)

Amazing how linux becomes a viable gaming platform and practical for daily consumer use once you get that fat bloated pig X11 out of the equation.

I don't particularly like X, but I doubt it has much to do the viability of Linux. It works just fine in all major distros. It's not 2004 anymore.

See all the whackjobs who hate Ubuntu just because it gives the OPTION of using restricted files and comes with the multiverse enabled by default.

Some people may not like that, but they are a small minority. As you said, they are just more vocal about it. None of the people that I personally know who use Linux are like that.

"There are good games on the Mac, you know they're all good games because you played them three or four years ago on PC"

Games don't get worse over time. A game's age has no effect on its quality, unless you're stupid.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Too bad.
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Too bad."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


I don't know of any games that have had latency issues with SDL...

You didn't read through all the comments from Johnathan in the Braid post.
http://braid-game.com/news/?p=364


I don't particularly like X, but I doubt it has much to do the viability of Linux. It works just fine in all major distros. It's not 2004 anymore.


Note his comments on X11 as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Too bad.
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 25th Aug 2010 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Too bad."
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

"Doesn't help that even the binary drivers are like driving with the parking brake on even when allegedly it's the same drivers working through an abstraction. I didn't buy a GTX 260 SLI rig to have no SLI, no CUDA, no Physx, and to have my single GTX 260 perform like a 9800GT.

That's a blatant lie. NVIDIA's Linux drivers perform just as well as the Windows drivers in most cases. (Many benchmarks have proven this.)
"
for me that used to be true. Then my 9800gt performed worse in Linux than my old 7900gt

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Too bad.
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 25th Aug 2010 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Too bad."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

"Though admittedly, I game in linux all the time -- on my Dingoo running Dingux in emulators.... and on my droid. Amazing how linux becomes a viable gaming platform and practical for daily consumer use once you get that fat bloated pig X11 out of the equation."

I don't know... I've been impressed with games such as FlightGear and Doom 3, they run EXCELLENT on Linux, much better performance than in Windows, and it certainly helps that you don't need to load a whole bloated desktop environment as well (if you're low on memory/on an older machine). And I continue to be impressed with EDuke32, a Duke Nukem 3D port, with the HRP (high resolution pack) and all kinds of modern stuff. All this on plain Linux distros, that otherwise would be running Windows (and did when they were bought, until it was overwritten).

Windows has all the games due to the fact that it's everywhere. Linux nails the performance, leaving Windows in its dust. No "special" non-X11 versions needed.

I'm highly impressed with what Linux *CAN* do. It's just that, because of Microsoft's dominance, it doesn't get the chance to show it off very often.

Edited 2010-08-25 07:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Too bad.
by deathshadow on Thu 26th Aug 2010 04:26 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Too bad."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

I don't know... I've been impressed with games such as FlightGear

Flightgear works WAY better under windows for me... more FPS, higher detail levels, doesn't choke when I try to set 1920x1200 or *SHOCK* span displays... and under windows I can actually use my HOTAS.

As to
and Doom 3,


I wasn't impressed with doom 3 when it was new... between the pathetic 'graphics' where everything is so dark you might as well turn the display off even when EVERY DAMNED WALL has lights on it with reflective metal surfaces.... and the gameplay that truly was like going back to 1994 -- and no that's not a compliment. Admittedly I was a year late to the Doom 3 party, and as such played the vastly superior (and a billion times more impressive graphically) Far Cry, so I'm a bit jaded on that.

they run EXCELLENT on Linux, much better performance than in Windows

For me that would be an instant "On what planet?"

I'm highly impressed with what Linux *CAN* do.

As a desktop OS, I'm more unimpressed over all the things it either can't do, or that you have to jump through endless hoops to accomplish what was out of box functionality on other OS a decade and a half ago.

**** sake half the time you can't even get the headphone jack on a laptop to work right! (much less the half-strength wireless that's damned near useless, inability to see USB devices that are plugged in when you power on...)

GREAT server OS, I use it all the time. Great embedded OS... On the desktop or for gaming? Not so much. It's still a tinkertoy stuck in 'catchup' mode.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Too bad.
by google_ninja on Wed 25th Aug 2010 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too bad."
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

So I often run steam in wine, since it is the only way to talk to a whole bunch of gaming buddies I have made over the years online. It is barely usable, and as far as I know, very difficult to use as anything but a buggy chat client that eats ram like a mofo. But as long as you don't mind leaving the store minimized somewhere, dont need move or resize chat windows, its great.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too bad.
by merkoth on Tue 24th Aug 2010 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad."
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

Congratulations, you win the prize for making a comment both worthless and flamebait!

Because it really affects your everyday life knowing that something you don't actually care about might be of value for someone who happens to use an OS you don't like.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Too bad.
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

No kidding.

People turn on the computer to run applications, not the OS. Most people don't even know what an OS is.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Too bad.
by wirespot on Tue 24th Aug 2010 06:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad."
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

[...]at the end of the day, if someone's killer application ain't on the platform, it's game over. End of discussion.


I'm afraid that the above statement (while generally true) doesn't apply to this case 100%. Steam and the games do run on Linux (via Wine). So this "killer app" is not technically missing. It's just that it could be better (fewer issues, better performance).

Reply Score: 3

darth vader says it best
by stabbyjones on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:11 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Score: 5

RE: darth vader says it best
by lubod on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:27 UTC in reply to "darth vader says it best"
lubod Member since:
2009-02-02

That wasn't Darth Vader, it was Luke Skywalker.

Unless you can provide another accurate Star Wars quote, your fan card should be suspended.

P.S. And I'm not "fan-atical", just happen to know this quote and some other choice ones.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: darth vader says it best
by miserj on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: darth vader says it best"
miserj Member since:
2006-05-15

Darth Vader DOES say it at the end of Episode 3 after the fight with Obi-wan, after Lord Sidious rebuilds him.
What about your fan card hmmm?

Edited 2010-08-23 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: darth vader says it best
by Tuishimi on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: darth vader says it best"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

LOL

As in his anguish of thinking he killed his beloved he reaches out with The Force and starts shaking the entire room/building... great episode/movie. A little dark but...

Edited 2010-08-23 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: darth vader says it best
by stabbyjones on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: darth vader says it best"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

Luke had more of a cry, I prefer the bellow of Vader.

It's like a million childhood fantasy's cried out in terror, were suddenly silenced.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: darth vader says it best
by Tuishimi on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: darth vader says it best"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

When he realizes Vader is his father... yes. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: darth vader says it best
by moochris on Tue 24th Aug 2010 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: darth vader says it best"
moochris Member since:
2009-03-20

What are you talking about? There's Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. What's this 'Episode 3' you're talking about and who is this 'Lord Sidious' guy? ;)

Edited 2010-08-24 15:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

needs more products
by JrezIN on Tue 24th Aug 2010 02:39 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

wow... two things here... first, Steam != source engine.
Second, the thing here is probably more about products to be delivered through steam than the technical difficult of porting it.

Soon as more games are officially ported and distributed to linux, it will be viable to Steam to support a native steam client to linux... and "more games" probably means many more than source-engine games, I mean, third party ones! ;]

Reply Score: 2

Does it have to be Steam?
by ndrw on Tue 24th Aug 2010 06:43 UTC
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

I wonder what are all Linux distributors waiting for. There are commission money to earn + there is a chance to expand their market penetration if done right. Steam is obviously interested only in the first part.

Ideally Redhat, Ubuntu and Novel should come up with mutually compatible binary formats so that they don't dig themselves into ever decreasing market niches.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Does it have to be Steam?
by wirespot on Tue 24th Aug 2010 07:24 UTC in reply to "Does it have to be Steam?"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

I wonder what are all Linux distributors waiting for. There are commission money to earn + there is a chance to expand their market penetration if done right.


Not sure what you mean here. Linux distributions already have perfectly good software packaging and distribution systems in place. They are certainly better than anything on Windows (which is why individual software developers are forced to come up with their own DIY distribution mechanisms, on Windows).

Furthermore, there has been no lack of methods (see Linspire's CNR or Ubuntu One) to seamlessly insert commercial software in the normal Linux package management and allow users to download as well as pay for it easily.

Unfortunately, while such methods should be perfectly adequate, I suspect they will not see a lot of success. The fabled niche market that Linux supposedly represents is not it; there's reason enough to suspect that Linux "marketshare" is double that of Apple, and Apple has no problem spinning commercial apps. But their respective app ecosystems are wildly different.

Even more different is the Windows landscape. Lacking a sane software distribution system at OS level for so long, developers got used to creating their own methods of distribution and update. Hence, Steam. This is further complicated by the fact game developers are increasingly paranoid and have resorted to offering more and more content via download only and via protected "black boxes" that attempt to emulate the closed environments of the consoles on the PC.

That does not sit well with the way things work on Linux. I mean, let's think about it for a moment. As a Linux user, one is spoiled rotten into knowing that his or her system is secure, malware free, and all installed files are accounted for. Would I even WANT a rogue piece of software like Steam creating its own little black box on my hard drive? Maybe, if I was a hardcore gamer. But how many people are hardcore gamers? On the PC? On Linux?

So you see, I'm thinking this whole Steam thing is rather a non-issue. Too many implausible and incompatible things stand in the way of gaming on Linux. (By "gaming" meaning, the way big game developers want to do things.)

Steam is obviously interested only in the first part.


"Steam" is not interested in anything since it's a non-sentient piece of software. Did you mean Valve?

Ideally Redhat, Ubuntu and Novel should come up with mutually compatible binary formats so that they don't dig themselves into ever decreasing market niches.


Is there any reliable evidence to the size or evolution of their respective marketshares? Has it been unequivocally been tied to "incompatible binary formats", that allows you to state that?

What do you even mean saying those distros have "incompatible binary formats"? The ELF binary format is quite cross-compatible across the UNIX world, not only Linux.

If you mean "I want to take an executable from one distro and run it on the other" then that's not the term you're looking for. I don't know what that is, or why you'd want to do that. There are apps that can be dropped-in on any distro and they run (see Firefox downloads). But usually, isn't it simpler to install the app from the distro's own repository?

Reply Score: 7

v RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?
by dayalsoap on Tue 24th Aug 2010 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it have to be Steam?"
RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?
by ndrw on Tue 24th Aug 2010 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it have to be Steam?"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Well, I see you found answers to all your questions. :-)

Just for completeness, yes, I though about initiatives like Ubuntu One (although its focus is more on "cloud" than an online store and it is limited to a single vendor).

For distribution of commercial software such a "web store" should have more features. Things like portable (between vendors) and stable installation ABI, uniform package format, well supported subset of basic libraries, built-in or online licensing servers, perhaps even optional DRM.

There is quite a lot of commercial software for Linux (the company I used to work before spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on CAD software licenses alone), but it usually follows "Windows" model of software installation augmented with a fair amount of shell scripting hackery. A "web store" could make lives of people producing and using such software much easier.

Just to make it clear: it has nothing to do with opensource software repositories. Both models of software distribution simply have different requirements and are subject to different tradeoffs. For example, opensource software isn't nearly as sensitive to platform fragmentation as software distributed in a binary form (all it needs is a backward compatible API and work of distributors to recompile all the packages).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it have to be Steam?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Linux distributions already have perfectly good software packaging and distribution systems in place.


Packaging systems that are designed to work with open source which is the caveat here.


They are certainly better than anything on Windows (which is why individual software developers are forced to come up with their own DIY distribution mechanisms, on Windows).


Forced to come up with their own mechanism? How did you get modded up for posting blatantly false information? Never heard of the Windows installer? DIY mechanisms? You mean like the third-party wizards that can be used as an alternative? I have a copy of one of those wizards from 2005 and it is still better than anything in Linuxland. The binary packaging tools in Linux are crude and always require additional tweaking.

The standard method of distributing software in Linux is to build for a single distro, release the source and then let the army of package managers handle the rest. Distributing closed source software is just a PITA.


there's reason enough to suspect that Linux "marketshare" is double that of Apple


Based on what? Macbooks have been selling well the past few years and I have never even seen a Linux based netbook at a retail store. All the web stats show around 1% and I see no reason to believe otherwise.


Even more different is the Windows landscape. Lacking a sane software distribution system at OS level for so long, developers got used to creating their own methods of distribution and update. Hence, Steam.


Making stuff up again.

Steam is not simply a distribution system, it's also a storefront that Valve uses to sell games. Valve gets a 40% cut of each sale and has strict requirements for developers, it isn't some community project created as an alternative to the standard Windows installer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Does it have to be Steam?
by jbauer on Tue 24th Aug 2010 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?"
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06


Packaging systems that are designed to work with open source which is the caveat here.


They're not exactly good for open source either. Rebuilding everything every few months to stay current is plainly unacceptable.

Edited 2010-08-24 21:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 23:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it have to be Steam?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Furthermore, there has been no lack of methods (see Linspire's CNR or Ubuntu One) to seamlessly insert commercial software in the normal Linux package management and allow users to download as well as pay for it easily.


CNR was tied to a lame distro and had an annual service fee while Ubuntu One is a cloud service. All the major distros have distribution systems designed around open source. The needs of proprietary developers are routinely ignored.

Linux users will just have to keep playing Tux Racer and Windows games in a VM until distros drop the 'your source is my right' ideology.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Does it have to be Steam?
by Zifre on Tue 24th Aug 2010 13:27 UTC in reply to "Does it have to be Steam?"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Ideally Redhat, Ubuntu and Novel should come up with mutually compatible binary formats so that they don't dig themselves into ever decreasing market niches.

You do realize that this is already true...

All the distros use ELF, and there is a fairly standard set of libraries that you can expect. If you really want to be safe, you can just statically link it, solving all binary compatibility issues (libGL is the only library you would have to dynamically link to, and it has a stable ABI).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 25th Aug 2010 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it have to be Steam?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

ELF files are not going to help developers deal with differences between windowing systems or the audio mess. There is no standard API for Ubuntu and openSuse and that is the real problem. There is the LSB but it is too limited in scope and isn't enforceable.

The LSB has been good for server development but for desktop applications there are too many areas where distros conflict.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Does it have to be Steam?
by Zifre on Wed 25th Aug 2010 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

The LSB has been good for server development but for desktop applications there are too many areas where distros conflict.

It's true that closed source desktop applications (e.g. a word processor) are hard to do. But that's because they have a lot of dependencies. The biggest choice is Gtk+ or Qt, because they do not 100% integrate as people will tell you.

However, closed source games are pretty easy to do, because there are a lot less dependencies. Admittedly, it's not quite as easy as Mac OS X. But if you spend six months developing a game (using cross platform libraries, obviously), is it really that hard to spend a few extra days to get it to run on Linux? The main problem I see is market share. Nobody wants to spend any effort at all for a platform with 1% market share.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Does it have to be Steam?
by jbauer on Thu 26th Aug 2010 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Does it have to be Steam?"
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

However, closed source games are pretty easy to do, because there are a lot less dependencies. Admittedly, it's not quite as easy as Mac OS X. But if you spend six months developing a game (using cross platform libraries, obviously), is it really that hard to spend a few extra days to get it to run on Linux?


You can do that, and release it on a use it at your own risk basis, like id does, as a gift. Great if it works, tough luck when it doesn't. Doing it so commercially and having to support it is a whole different ball game. That's why id software does (or used to do) the former but not the latter.


The main problem I see is market share. Nobody wants to spend any effort at all for a platform with 1% market share.


There's no such platform. It's all Linux distributions combined that have 1%. Not an attractive proposition for any developer or publisher.

Edited 2010-08-26 08:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Well this goes in the 'duh' category
by Icaria on Tue 24th Aug 2010 08:49 UTC
Icaria
Member since:
2010-06-19

The formal announcement made by phoronix could never be verified, as the only source they were willing to provide was another site that was explicitly reporting on the rumours in earlier phoronix articles, along with the Mac announcement. It was bunk from day one, as anyone who did any cursory fact checking would have known.

There obviously are some barely functional builds of the steam client for *nix but that in no way ensures that Valve have any intention of releasing it, let alone making it production-ready.

Reply Score: 2

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Agree. Phoronix's so called 'proof' was dubious at best... Oh wow, some id strings in the DLL's and executables list a bunch of OS... you'd think they were using or incorporating some stock libraries or something.

... and just because one of a dozen libraries used can compile to a target doesn't mean the entire application can or that the developer WANTS TO!

I mean, I write games in Free Pascal (which can target a bunch of systems) using SDL, OpenGL and OpenAL (which can target a bunch of systems) -- but I only PLAN on windows releases and have done zero testing or planning to run anything I've written on other platforms. Even though I'm releasing windows only, I'm willing to bet you could find all those same strings in my code.

Reply Score: 2

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Agree. Phoronix's so called 'proof' was dubious at best... Oh wow, some id strings in the DLL's and executables list a bunch of OS... you'd think they were using or incorporating some stock libraries or something.

The evidence was slightly more compelling than that. There was an actual Linux binary (i.e. totally separate from the Windows and Mac OS X binaries), it just didn't do much.

However, I agree with your conclusion. There was no evidence that this support was official or that a real Linux client would ever come. Phoronix totally made up that part.

Reply Score: 2

steam
by xaeropower on Tue 24th Aug 2010 11:26 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

Theres like a utf8 char in the article â€".

Steam cashing good since they deliver content distribution for loads of games but it seems it still doesn't worth for them to care about nix users.

Anyways the times when I was spending hours on hacking games with wine and cedega are long gone. You can build a windows gaming box for almost nothing nowadays so who cares about gaming on linux anymore.

Also in most cases the video drivers cause crashes, slowdowns, video ram trashing and other things why you need to keep rebooting your box and it's the same in linux as well. If you planning to build a linux gaming box just because you think it's more stable and able to outfps your win games think twice.

Edited 2010-08-24 11:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Not unexpected
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 24th Aug 2010 17:59 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Steam already runs on Linux/FreeBSD with Wine and Crossover and far more games will run via Wine than any native port; few companies would make native Linux OpenGL ports of their games.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Xaero_Vincent
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 24th Aug 2010 18:03 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

When will people stop repeating this myth? Your average game just needs SDL and OpenGL. You can pretty much assume that those are installed, and you can statically link against everything else. It's really not very hard.

Agreed. All these sound systems and graphic drivers issues haven't stopped ID from porting Doom III to Linux as a last-minute gift and it still runs fine on today's distribution with proprietary drivers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Xaero_Vincent
by nt_jerkface on Tue 24th Aug 2010 20:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by Xaero_Vincent"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The occasional game from a private company that has been vocally bitter about DirectX dominating is proof of what exactly?

Everyone knows it is possible to port to Linux. That doesn't change the fact that Linux is simply not designed around proprietary software. It isn't a single platform that developers can target. It's a bunch of semi-compatible systems that come with a litany of issues for closed source developers that do not exist on Windows or OS X. The best way to avoid these issues is to release the source which is not an option for proprietary companies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Xaero_Vincent
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 25th Aug 2010 07:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Xaero_Vincent"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

The occasional game from a private company that has been vocally bitter about DirectX dominating is proof of what exactly?

Everyone knows it is possible to port to Linux. That doesn't change the fact that Linux is simply not designed around proprietary software. It isn't a single platform that developers can target. It's a bunch of semi-compatible systems that come with a litany of issues for closed source developers that do not exist on Windows or OS X. The best way to avoid these issues is to release the source which is not an option for proprietary companies.

Still, fact is, id was able to do it... were they not? Give them a few years, you never know... id Software and 3D Realms are actually pretty good companies and may just release the source for Doom 3. Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Doom, etc.... they've done it before, I won't be surprised if they do it again. Sure, 3D Realms had nothing to do with Doom 3 (and two of those are 3DR games), but they have a long history with id Software, both companies are similar, and both are somewhat supportive of open source software. But obviously, only when their chance to make money out of it is over.

I'm not too into PC gaming any more (never really was, at least not heavily--always been a console gamer) but those two companies are among my most respected and favorite overall. Since ditching Windows, I respect them even more for their support of open source software.

Edited 2010-08-25 07:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Xaero_Vincent
by nt_jerkface on Wed 25th Aug 2010 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Xaero_Vincent"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The point is that they did it out of spite, not for the bottom line. Linux porting costs are too high for its market size.

Reply Score: 2